March Real Bride | Heather Doerbecker

Hello March! We love bringing in each new month with a new Once Upon A Time Weddings Real Bride! This month we are featuring Heather and her now husband Jamie Doerbecker. These two are seriously radiant for each other, we absolutely love their love story and hope you do as much as us! Just wait until you read Jamie's proposal below...swoon.


How did the two of you meet?

"Orientation week at the University of Waterloo we were both leaders."

How'd you know your fiancé was the one?

"There wasn't a specific moment for me that I knew Jamie was the one, rather smaller ones added together. The smaller moments were always making me smile and making me laugh. He loves country music and so do I. He is very caring, thoughtful, and has a huge heart. He is always helping other people, putting others first which is similar to me. He always knows what to say in any situation. I have a big family and they are very important to me and when I saw him with them and feel comfortable around them and get along with my cousins I knew we would be together for a long time. I learned very quickly that Jamie's family is also important to him. Another thing that helped me see he was the one is when I see him playing with our little cousins and how natural that comes to him."

How did your fiancé propose?

Heather: "We were going to my parents house for the weekend. We were coming from Waterloo and heading just outside of Strathroy. I had asked Jamie if we could go watch the sunset before going to my parents house because it is one of my favourite things to do. I find it so relaxing and calming and wanted to be able to spend the quality time with Jamie. It was June 10, 2016 so it was starting to be nice weather. We decided to go out for dinner and went to the Growling Gator and sat on the patio. We were able to see the start of the sunset and the few clouds rolling in. We eat supper then walked down to the beach, we found a spot to sit and I asked Jamie to take a picture of me with the sunset and I also said I wanted pictures of us in front of the sunset as well. We went over and asked a group of girls if someone would come and take our picture. One girl agreed and she came over and took off her sunglasses and said, "Hi Heather, how are you?" I responded, "Hi Emily, I am good thanks and you?" We had a quick chat and Jamie said to me, "You know her!" which I said, "Yes we grew up down the street from each other and went to public and high school together". We got a few pictures together then Jamie said, "The sunset is beautiful tonight, but not as beautiful as you Heather." He then pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and asked me "Heather will you spend the rest of your life with me?" My reaction was, "OH MY GOD THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?" Which Jamie said yes it is. After I let it sink it for a few seconds I said, "Of course I will!!" Jamie put the ring on my finger and we hugged and kissed. I got a bit teary and I was so excited!! I was so surprised when it happened. It was the perfect timing from Jamie, after he proposed the sunset was hiding behind the clouds. It was the perfect night! We were so happy we couldn't wait to tell our family and friends."
Jamie: "A while before I actually proposed we were driving along the 401, I decided to bring up interesting ways to propose or how she dreamed of being proposed to. We had a lengthy conservation of good, bad and that better never happen if we were to ever get engaged. This conservation really didn't sway my idea on, Heather always loved watching the sunset so I knew that is how it had to happen. Once I had asked her parents for their blessing, I went out and got a ring from Poaggs. Since I was not from the area I asked Heather's parents to pick up the ring from the store once it was resized and had to figure out a time to get it from them. It just happened to work out that after they picked it up we all ended going to a jays game and I was able to get the ring from her dad and put it in the glove box while she was with her mom. I had it for a little while when Heather said she wanted to go see a sunset on the way to her parents, so naturally i agreed because little did she know she just planned her own engagement. For that night I packed a bag and was able to get to get the ring in without Heather noticing, there were a few close calls when she put some stuff in the bag and took some stuff out but she never noticed the ring box in the next pocket. As we were driving to grand bend we were just singing along to the radio when a friend of ours texted Heather so since Heather was driving she asked to text her back. This was really helpful to calm my nerves. We went for dinner downtown and then went to the beach to catch the sunset. We walked the beach for a little bit and then Heather said where would you like to go, I remember saying it really doesn't matter to me. Once we found a spot I got some towels out so we had something to sit on and Heather said could you take some pictures of me with the sunset so I did. She then said I would like some of us so I said I will go ask someone, and there just happened to be a group of girls sitting close by so I went to ask them. Heather said here take my phone cause it takes better pictures but I walked over to them and asked if they could take some pictures for us and they said sure. I handed them my phone with a note saying I am about to propose could you take some pictures for me. As she walked over to take our picture she said hi Heather, cause they had grown up down the street from each other. I had put my glasses in my backpack because they tint with the sun so they were pretty dark, which also allowed me to grab the ring and put it in my pocket. A few seconds went by then I looked at Heather and then the sunset and said the sunset is beautiful but not as beautiful as you, then I got down one one knee and said will you marry me? it took a few seconds for her to even say anything which were the longest seconds of my life. Finally she said is this for real and then said of course I will. Pretty much after she said yes we lost the sunset behind some clouds. As we were walking back to the car we started calling our parents and close friends."

Join us next week as we explore Heather's journey to saying yes to the dress!

Photography: Latte Productions

If you're a Once Upon A Time Weddings Real Bride that wants to be featured one month, message us on Facebook or shoot us an email at!

If you've recently got some bling on your finger, we'd love to have you in the store to find your dream dress! Book your experience with us here.

I'm Engaged! What now?

Congrats on your recent engagement!! This is such a fun season of life! But it often can become a stressful one when it comes to planning and making decisions for your wedding. Whatever the reasons may be - let us help you come up with a rough timeline, list of things to do, and where to start!


1. Go pin crazyPinterest can be an amazing resource when figuring out your vision for your wedding. Go pin crazy for a couple of weeks and then we suggest narrowing those pins down and even printing off the things you can't live without. Putting these pictures in front of you will help you weed things out and see what details are really important to you.

2. Start a wedding binder. This may seem old school but it is SO helpful having your ideas printed, in hand and infant of you. You can keep all your inspiration pictures here, your receipts, your checklist, your RSVP's...really everything wedding related in one spot; because let' be honest, you'll be a little scatter brained during this time!

wedding binder.jpg

3. Talk about your budget. The not so fun topic of - money. This might be talked over with your parents or maybe you and the groom are paying for the wedding yourselves. Figure out a reasonable budget and figure out ways to stick to it. Write out a list of what's most important to you; a good photographer, the food, the venue, a videographer, florist, your dress, etc. Rank these aspects and start from the top when searching for these things.

4. Pick your wedding party. Have fun with this and once your girls are by your side, delegate things that they can help with because trust us - they want to help and be involved, so let them be!


5. Find your photographer and take engagement pictures. When the stress hits a high level, this is such a fun way to remind yourselves what your day is really about: the love you two share! Get dolled up and make a day date out of it!

6. Go dress shopping. Get your girls, invite your mom, grab some lunch and have fun trying on all the wedding dresses! This will be SO much fun for you as a bride - getting into those wedding dresses for the first time is so magical and having your girlfriends with you will make it even more exciting! 

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Start your wedding gown shopping with us! Book your experience here.

Interview with MUA Nicole Dupuis

This month, we chatted with Nicole Dupuis over at Nicole Dupuis Artistry in London. She specializes in enhancing the bride's natural beauty! She is a such a sweet girl and we hope you enjoy learning more about her!


How long have you been doing make-up?

"6 months."

How far in advance does the Bride + Groom need to book your services?

"4-6 months out."

Do you offer a trial run? If so, how much extra does it cost and how far in advance do you like to do that?

"Yes! I always offer a trial. The cost is $25 and I usually do it a couple months in advance, sometimes more, depending on the bride's preference."
Helpful Hint: We know some of our brides have scheduled their trials on the day of their engagement shoots or their showers.  Gives them an opportunity to get dolled up & make sure they love their looks in photographs too!

Do you travel to the bride's venue location?

"Yes I do! Always."

How do you get a feel for what look the bride is going for?

"I always ask first if they have a look in mind and if they do they usually show me a picture. If not I ask what they wear for make up on a daily basis, what style of dress they are wearing and what the theme of the wedding is. I can generally get a pretty good idea based on that information what look to go with."

If the bride changes her mind about her bridal look, is there a charge for a re-trail?


Should the bride bring her veil and accessories to the trial?

"It's not necessary but if they would like to in order to better visualize the overall look they are more than welcome to do so!"

Do you like the bride to do any prep before you work your magic? (IE: Moisturize, apply primer...)

"Always moisturize the morning of! It's a good idea to use a facial scrub the night before as well. I will apply a primer before applying make up and depending on their skin I may moisturize again as well."

How much am I investing as a Bride?

"I charge a flat fee."

What sets you apart from other MUA in the area?

"Because I am a little bit newer to the industry I am more flexible with last minute bookings and I am willing to travel to the bride's home for not only the wedding, but also the trial. I love to enhance a person's natural beauty. So while I love to apply a false lash to any look, I also love a natural, flawless looking complexion that doesn't involve caking on too much product. This is something I feel I do very well."

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"I love what I do! It doesn't feel like work when your job is making someone feel beautiful in their own skin. I'm excited to continue to grow and learn in this industry and I can't wait to meet more of my future brides!"
Nicole Dupuis

Nicole Dupuis

If you're still in the market for a make up artist for your wedding you can reach Nicole on her Facebook page here or by email here:

Is there a vendor that you loved working with for your wedding?  Email us at and let us know!  Are you a vendor + would love to get featured on our blog?  Email us!

If you're still searching for your dream dress, book your experience with us today!

August Real Bride | Ryan and Alexa's Wedding

Alexa was such a wonderful bride to work with and we are so grateful she chose us at Once Upon A Time Weddings to fall in love with her lace ball gown. Alexa, you looked absolutely stunning! We are so excited to show you all their beautiful wedding day, their bridesmaids dresses, and the love these two share, enjoy!

What's your favourite memory from your wedding day?

"Our whole day was honestly the best, our ceremony had personal touches with Ryan's sister and father doing readings. We absolutely loved our cocktail hour though, we didn't have a receiving line or the big entrance at the reception, so when we finished photos, we showed up at the start of cocktail hour and mingled and had drinks with our guests; it was so relaxed and such a great way to see everyone and start off the night!"
It was so fun having Alexa and her girls back in the store to purchase their maids dresses!

It was so fun having Alexa and her girls back in the store to purchase their maids dresses!

Who were your favourite vendors from your wedding day?

"Our coordinator Alysha at Revival House (and their whole amazing staff!) honestly became friends towards the end of the whole planning process, they made everything so easy and were such a joy to work with. Designs by Cate did our amazing floral and she exceeded our expectations, I honestly met with her once to discuss ideas and just trusted in her to do her thing and it was amazing! Our lovely Pastor did such a great job personalizing our ceremony and with our marriage prep in the months before the wedding, after serving at Ryan's family's church for 13 years he is enjoying retirement currently! And lastly our photographer Mariangelica, she's just a rock star and we feel so fortunate to have worked with her and got to know her well over the last couple years."

What did your (now) husband think of your dress?

"He liked it and thought I looked pretty. He doesn't know one dress style or shape from another, so he just knew I'd look nice!"

We love our brides! If you got married in a Once Upon A Time Weddings dress, please contact us about being featured on the blog!

If you're newly engaged and haven't found your dream dress, don't hesitate to book your appointment with us, we can't wait to give you the experience of a life time!

Photography: Mariangelica Photography 

Venue: Revival House

Something Blue

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." This old rhyme is something that has been passed down for decades, and is known as the things a bride 'should' carry with her on her wedding day. Did you know that 'something blue' stands for purity, love, and fidelity? We thought that was a fun little fact and whether you're a bold bride or a more traditional, reserved bride there are so many unique ways that you can include that 'something blue' into your wedding day! We have put together a few different categories for how you bring the blue with you!

1) Blue on you. This can be a very subtle, even hidden, way to have some blue somewhere on you throughout your big day.

2) Accessorize in blue. We think this is probably one of the most popular ways to incorporate blue into your day but, here are maybe some unique ideas to get your blue on! ;)

3) Blending in the blue. Here are a few ways you could have blue be a part of your day that doesn't scream 'something blue'.

Put your maids in blue!

Put your maids in blue!

Make your signature drink blue!

Make your signature drink blue!

4) Blue on the dress. Of course, our favourite! We love these little hints of blue that brides add to their wedding gowns.

Leave us a comment and tell us how YOU used blue on your wedding day!

Make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes as we are moving to our new location!

As always, if you're still looking for your dream dress you can book your wedding gown experience here!

Summer Wedding Tips

The sun is out and wedding season has begun! They make for beautiful pictures, lovely outdoor venues, fun refreshments, lawn games, and favours. As much as we love summer weddings we also know the weather can become an absolute scorcher, so we've come up with tips to help you beat the heat at your summer wedding!

  • Keep your location in mind as you shop for a gown... If you are going to have your reception outdoors, remember that when you are dress shopping! You might want to go with tulle, chiffon, organza or a lighter lace when you're deciding on the perfect wedding gown. All of these will breathe and let air flow freely, keeping you a bit cooler!
Kim Rogers | June 2012

Kim Rogers | June 2012

Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride Julia | 2014

Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride Julia | 2014

  • Think about your hair do. It might be best to settle on an undo for an outdoor wedding so you don't have to worry about your hair getting frizzy or sticking to the sides of your face on your wedding day.
  • Include some fun refreshments. Summer is the perfect time for all those tropical drinks of even just some classic iced tea and lemonade and remember to buy more ice than you think you need! Make sure you have coolers of water for guests to grab as they please because there's no room for dehydration at your wedding!
  • Don't assume your guest look at the weather. Be sure to tell your guests (on your wedding site or invitation) to dress appropriately. Have some sunscreen, bug spray and maybe some umbrellas for your guests to use at the reception. The last thing you want is people leaving or being plain miserable the whole day.
  • Consider having a tent and fans. Making your guests comfortable is one of the things we have to think about when planning a wedding so if it's going to be a hot day, it might be a good idea to have a little oasis for guests to escape from the pounding sun rays.
  • Be mentally prepared and have fun! Think about planning your ceremony a little later in the day once the sun is past centre sky. And if you know it's going to be a hot day and there's nothing you can do about it, decide ahead of time that you aren't going to focus on the heat instead grab a drink and get to dancing!
Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride | 2015

Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride | 2015

Planning a summer 2018 wedding?  Now is the perfect time to start dress shopping at Once Upon A Time Weddings! Book your appointment here.

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June Real Bride | Kayla's Dress

Naturally, as a wedding gown store, this is our favourite segment for our monthly Real Bride series and we are so excited to share Kayla's bridal store experience with you today! Kayla said yes to the dress on April 16,  2016 and tied the knot with Eric on December 31st of the same year. We absolutely adore the lace wedding gown she chose and thought it paired so perfectly for her New Years Eve wedding and venue.

About how many dresses did you try on before you found 'The One'? 


Were you expecting to purchase your dress when you came in for your appointment?

"I was ready to buy, but also prepared not to get down on the experience if I didn't find my perfect dress."

Who was with you at your appointment?

"Grandma, mom, mother-in-law and sister. :)"

Did anyone have extra influence on helping you say yes to the dress?

"Not in particular no - I knew what I was looking for."

Was the dress you bought similar to what you came in thinking you wanted?

"A few similarities."

How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

"It was great, Sharon was awesome and worked with me to find the best dress to fit my vision!"

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your story to finding the dress?

"I actually really loved the ballgown - I didn't think I would but surprisingly loved it! I ended up going with a more fitted figure which I love but the ballgown got me all teary eyed and excited!"

Join us next Wednesday to hear all out Eric and Kayla's wedding!

Are you still searching for your perfect bridal gown? Book your experience with us today!

Photography: Have Heart Photography